Tuesday, August 25, 2009

...And We're Off!

(Photo: www.flickr.com , **msk - http://www.flickr.com/photos/estmsk )

It is that time of year where I have a death grip on my Franklin Planner, monitoring every hour of every day and planning and orchestrating every single move and complex decision which will help me to best manage the schedules of my life.

With my job, the boys’ lives, school, sports, music, and church schedules - my calendar is an intricate series of “so-and-so needs to be here at this time” and “so-and-so needs to be there at that time” and who is going to get them there and who is going to pick them up.

As a single mom, I have become a diligent 5-Star General, strategizing troop movement from battlefield to battlefield, with me shouting orders and commands as we go. There is no room for error, less the enemy (our crazy schedule) find the weak spot and inflict total schedule annihilation. We must be swift! Agile. Determined. We must not show fear. We must forage our path into school year territory and (in the words of Winston Churchill) never, never, never quit.

For those of you who read this and wonder why I never call anymore…..here is why:

(Bear in mind, I work from 8 – 5 Monday through Friday….)

Monday: 7:05 – leave home to drive Bud (my oldest) to chorus rehearsal followed by my racing back home to get Peanut (my youngest) ready and out the door and to school by 7:55 (my neighbor, who watches these shenanigans from his back porch, calls this “Round One” and “Round Two”). School until 3:15 p.m. Grandma Jane picks up Peanut and brings him home. I meet up with them at my house at the end of my work day; walk the dog; help feed and dress Peanut for football practice at 6 p.m. then leave to pick Bud up from High School football; drop Bud off at the house…tell him to scrounge for food (“Think ‘Man vs. Wild’”, I tell him. “Imagine you have been dropped into the mountains of Yemen and you must stay alive but instead of eating reindeer droppings….you might find a peanut butter and cracker pack or frozen microwavable pizza!”). Then I am off to watch Peanut practice until 7:30 p.m. Everyone reunites around 7:45 p.m. Piano practice. Viola practice. Drum practice. Homework. Showers. Bed. Monday nights are also game nights for Bud so on the nights that he plays, the evening schedule management must be farmed out to any family member with a car and the mental fortitude to help out.

Tuesday: Repeat morning and day schedule. Just substitute Peanut’s piano theory class for the football practice element. Everyone reunites around 7:45 p.m. Piano practice. Viola practice. Drum practice. Homework. Showers. Bed. Throw in a random Tuesday night game for Peanut and theory must be rescheduled or skipped altogether.

Wednesday: Transition day for the boys to their dad’s house. Repeat morning and day schedule. 7 – 9 p.m. is Catechism for Bud and me (I am an adult guide for the group).

Thursday: Repeat morning and day schedule. The boys are with their dad but I must remain on call to assist their father if he has a work conflict. Peanut has football practice from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Repeat morning and day schedule. Boys are with their dad. Evening activities include 5 p.m. piano lessons for Peanut, later attending the high school football game and to watch Bud play in the half-time marching band program.

Saturday: Boys are still with their dad but he often has Saturday work conflicts so I remain on call. Meet any time (depending on the gametime) between 7:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. to drive to and watch Peanut’s football game. It is a traveling team, so this usually takes all or most of the morning. Bud has football practice from 8 – 9:30 a.m. Piano Lessons at 11:30 a.m. Catch up on laundry and house cleaning. Yard work. Grocery shop.

Sunday: Church – usually 8:15 a.m. service as "late church" is too contemporary for my preference. Lunch. Family fun activity or more yard work with the boys. Catch up on anything left on the list that didn’t get done. Evening dinner/dessert and card game activity with the extended family.

So…we are off and running. Eventually this will all become a carefully choreographed dance that we perform effortlessly and will, ultimately, master. For now, we clumsily take it a step at a time – until we fall into a rhythm.

To all you Moms and Dads out there: I feel your pain. Give me survival tips, if you have any. Just know that we are all in this together!

For those of you who wonder why I never call….please bear with me. I will get back to you when the schedule lets up….in about 8 years!

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama

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